Kit Review: HG WfM – Gundam Aerial

If you run away, you gain one!
If you move forward, you gain two!

A Gundam unlike no others. Remote beam weaponries, advanced AI to the point of sentience, and power to dominate every fight it is in despite hard countermeasures, the Aerial is a Gundam that runs on the highest level of plot armor. But it is its pilot and its creator that weave the tale of the Witches and captured our attention. A new premise and concepts but still retaining the underlying elements of the Gundam franchise, and of course – great mechanical designs.

Kit: HG 1/144 Gundam Aerial
Series: Gundam: The Witch from Mercury
Price: 1,430 yen
Release date: Oct 2022

Design: The Aerial is designed by mecha desginer JINTHED – who previoiusly worked on the Metal Gear series. The Mobile Suit is a balanced mix of rounded parts and rough edges. The limbs are quite feminine looking considering its namesake, and the torso is bulky and well armored. The V-fin is all white just like the Exia, and the eyes are quite big compared to usual Gundam eyes. The Aerial look like mix between the G-Self and some IBO aesthetic with the vents and rounded limbs.

A unique point of the Aerial’s design are the Permet lines – clear panels that will glow with neon streaks when the PERMET score are raised. This phenomenon is visually similar to the Unicorn’s NT-D System. Another is its weapon and backpack design (or lack there of). It is a very unique and smart gimmick that we’ll explain later.

Build quality: New line Gundam series kits – espeicially HG – mostly use new engineering techniques that Bandai developed for all of their kit line as well, and that means the inclusion of C-clip joints for the limbs. With that, some parts may feel a bit fragile, but Bandai’s plastic are quite sturdy, but do be careful when putting the joints together and apply reasonable pressure, not too much. Other than that, the build is very enjoyable and simple.

In addition, the sticker is also a mixed experience. There are actually quite a bit of stickers, but some of them are entirely unecessary. The eyes, the permet panels, etc all have etched details on the part, but if you want some light-reflecting properties, you have to use the stickers, but if you just want it to have color, you can disregard the stickers. The eye stickers actually comes with two color – red and green, and the eye piece is in green, so if you want red eyes, you’ll have to use the stickers. Other than that, there are some stickers for the armor parts and shield, but it’s up to you if you want to put them on as I’m fine without them.

Articulation: The articulation of the Aerial is both great and mediocre at parts. You get the usual great shoulders and double-jointed ariculation along with great feet pivot, but then you have a very restrictive torso-crunch and thigh movements. The thigh’s design is reminiscent of the G-Self where the armor goes around the hip joints and really hamper its full potential. The Aerial can’t do a dynamic spread like some revived HGCE kit, but for a feminine design and what it does in the show, the kit can pull those off quite adequately. Furthermore, some easy and quick modification and boost the range of movement if you really, really want to do that.

– Gimmicks: This is definitely the aspect that the Aerial shines in – and undoubtedly the selling point of the kit. Firstly, the aesthetic gimmick: you can swap the permet panel between the activated version and the non-activated one. It requires a bit of disassembly so I do recommend picking one style and stick to it. I found that red eyes + activated permet panels look really good.

Then we come to the shield. Have to say this is one of the most innovative use of bits I’ve seen for a starter Gundam. The Aerial’s shield can separate into smaller bits and they can be used as your normal funnels. But that’s not all. The bits can also be attached to various armor parts to become reinforcements as well as the “backpack”. This gimmick is quite unique in that the bits blend in with the suit instead of sticking out and screaming “Hey, I’m the funnels” style like Nu or Zabanya. It’s even more subtle than Age-FX which is one of the suits that utilize that concept well. Furthermore, the bits can also attach to the beam rifle to make it looks much better, since the original looks a bit short compared to other MSes.

x1 Beam Rifle

x1 Shield (12 shield bits)

x1 pair of hand

x2 Beam Saber

The shield bits is no doubted the best part of the kit. However to fully utilize its potential, you have to get a very intricate stand bases with different connectors to replicate the scenes in the anime. In this review, I used the Playing Base type A by Kotobukiya, which is a very good one. But Bandai will release the special base for this kit soon, so I suggest you grab that along with this kit asap. It will not just be good for the Aerial but also for other kits as well. It never hurts to get more stands.

Overall: While the kit is super affordable and the amount of plastic isn’t too much, the gimmick and playability of the kit is quite high, especially with the shield bits gimmick that Bandai came up with and the PERMET score stuff as well. However, the articulation could use some smarter engineering. Still, the design of the mobile suit along with the innovative gimmick more than make up for any shortcomings. Really recommend this mobile suit along with the Lfrith because they are great individual kits that can be combined together.


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